REVIEW: Kurt Cobain Documentary

Drug addict and artist’s life brought to the big screen

Printed on “vintage” band tees and featured on every Alternative Rock radio station, Nirvana is making a comeback along with the rest of the 90’s decade. Kurt Cobain, lead singer and well-known grunge artist, takes music lovers down a spiraling journey in Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. The documentary released in April of 2015, tells the story of Cobain’s struggle with accepting fame. The film dives into his afflictive drug addiction, as well as describes his relationship with his wife, Courtney Love. Heart-wrenching and almost painful to watch, Cobain’s life is thoroughly revealed, without any limitations or edits to it’s winding plot.

Cobain’s story begins with a joyless childhood, as he was confronted with his parent’s divorce at the young age of nine. He suffered heavily from a lack of family connection, never feeling loved enough and dissociated himself from the rest of the world.

“He didn’t feel worthy, because he was rejected…by his whole family practically”, his step-mom explains in the film, describing his rough situation at home.

The documentary travels along with Cobain, a use of cartoon animations, Nirvana song renditions, and a narrative of Cobain’s experiences, through his written diary, lurking in the background.  From the start, the film is harsh and does not hold back, not in any place for the kind-hearted.

As the documentary travels into Cobain’s late teen years, an indistinguishably, eerie tone follows: note scraps, song ideas, ominous doodles and ear-piercing grunge music follow his early steps into fame.

“The first review Nirvana ever gotthey said it was like ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd without the flares. Kurt hated being humiliated. He hated it. If he ever thought he was being humiliated, the rage came out,” a fellow band member notes.

Cobain decided to medicate himself to get over any of the pressure or hate the band received, leading to his intense heroin addiction. Not only did this addiction continue into his fatherhood, but ruined multiple relationships he created, especially with Love.

According to Frances Cobain in a featured Rolling Stone interview, “Kurt got to the point where he eventually had to sacrifice every bit of who he was to his art, because the world demanded it of him,” Frances said bluntly at one point. “I think that was one of the main triggers as to why he felt he didn’t want to be here and everyone would be happier without him.”

The artist’s death by suicide still haunts music lovers and any who understood the problems Cobain battled during his short life.

Overall, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, is far from any documentary I have personally watched. The film tugged at my heart strings, haunted my dreams and opened up my mind about the music industry. It baffled me in more places than none and left me disturbed, if possible, in a good way. It accurately portrays and reveals what is to be considered the “real” Cobain, not leaving any details or explicit areas untouched. I would recommend to watch this film with caution and an open mind. Leave all previous notions at the door, before sitting down to watch Cobain’s life unravel before your eyes.